|Ruta Morozovaite- In Cleveland, Ohio
by: Aleksandra Kudukis
On November 17th at 8pm in Cleveland, Ohio at the Lithuanian Club, Ruta Morozovaite performed a melody of her unforgettable hits for an attentive and appreciative audience. Many people can relate to the experience of hearing a favorite song, 10, 15 or even 20 years later…the first notes instantly transporting you back to a special place and time, a first, dance, date, or other memorable event. That experience encapsulates our evening with the legendary Lithuanian singer. Ruta sang some of the most memorable Lithuanian hits from the 1980’s and 90’s , including but in no way limited to: Atminimai (Memories) , Pavasaris Ziema (spring Winter), Nepaprasta Diena (An Extraordinary Day), and Klevai (Maple Trees). The entertainer looked radiant under the soft lighting and elegantly decorated tables in the center’s upstairs hall. Every table was attractively arranged in black, accented in gold and brown, the lighting dimmed, warm and inviting. Ruta sang out favorites, powerfully delivering each note, bar, then song. What was perhaps even more dynamic than her voice, was her ability to engage with the audience. The ease at which she spoke with the group was almost magical. She held a special report with them all. Ruta exhibited great stage presence as she confidently radiated in her auburn hair, assured posture, and strong persona. However, she also allowed herself to be vulnerable, sharing many personal stories, imparting how important singing was to her, and how profoundly her grandmother influenced her. She spoke in a hushed tone, almost whispering to her new friends, the audience members, that she felt her grandmother was always near when she performed; the thought strengthening her. Ruta conversed as one might to a dear friend more that to the audience, as if we were all her lifelong pals. It felt as if the audience was reconnecting with an old friend, one they simply hadn’t seen in a bit. She spoke from her heart, candidly about her life, her influences, and why she has enjoyed performing so long. Augis Dicevicius, a locally well-known singer and on air personality sang with Ruta on several numbers. The two were an incredibly matched pair complimenting each other vocally and in stage presence. Together, they were energetic, confident, and engaging. Ruta reminded all of us in the audience of what is missing from modern Lithuanian pop music, the combination of showmanship and true talent that make mere songs iconic when presented live. She presented each song, not simply sang them; they were many mini-programs, wrapped up in one evening. She sang some of her personal favorites, and many of the audiences’ as well. Everyone in attendance was on their feet by the program’s end, forming a line that spanned the length of the dance floor, attendees dancing the Samba, Rhumba, and Fox trotting their way across the dance floor. Many performers have graced the floors of the Cleveland Lithuanian upper hall. Ruta’s recent program was easily in the ranks of the most fun, entertaining, pleasant to listen to performances in recent memory; purely enjoyable, one lovely evening.